While oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can occur at the same time in an individual, they’re two very different diagnoses. As a wilderness therapy ADHD and ODD treatment center, we are intimate with the ways ODD and ADHD differ from one another–we’re also intimate with the misconceptions surrounding these two disorders.

Many studies have linked the two disorders, making it important for parents to understand the ins and outs of each one. Every ODD treatment center understands that the earlier the disorder is recognized and treated, the better chance an individual has of working through it and living with it more effectively.

Symptoms of ODD vs ADHD

Knowing the symptoms of ADHD and ODD is not only important for an ODD treatment center, but for parents, too. This way, you’ll be able to identify warning signs and seek out help before things get worse.
From Mayo Clinic and DSM-5, ODD symptoms fall into three categories:
Argumentative/Defiant Behavior

  • Frequently argues with authority figures or adults
  • Actively refuses to listen to adults’ rules or requests
  • Deliberately seeks to annoy or pester people
  • Often blames others for own mistakes or acts

Angry/Irritable Mood

  • Loses temper often
  • Easily annoyed by others
  • Frequently resentful or angry


  • Frequent vindictive or revenge seeking behavior
  • Vindictive or spiteful behavior at least twice within the past 6 months

To be considered for an ODD diagnosis, an individual must portray at least 4 symptoms from any of the categories above. The behavior must occur with at least one person who isn’t a sibling. The behaviors must be causing issues at school or in the home. It should last at least six months.
From the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the symptoms of ADHD fall into two categories:

  • Fails to pay close attention to details, makes careless mistakes
  • Difficulty paying attention for tasks or activities
  • Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Issues following through on instructions (e.g. homework, chores)
  • Problems organizing
  • Avoids/dislikes tasks that require mental focus over long period of time
  • Loses things necessary for activities/tasks (e.g. pencils, school materials)
  • Easily distracted
  • Frequently forgetful


  • Frequently feels restless
  • Unable to take part in leisure activities quietly
  • Fast-paced, seems to always be going
  • Talks excessively
  • Issues waiting his/her turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others, such as interrupting a conversation
  • Fidgets, taps, squirms when having to sit still

To be considered for an ADHD diagnosis, an individual must portray some symptoms before 12 years old. Many symptoms must be present in two or more settings. The symptoms are interfering with daily work, school, or home-life.

What to do if your child is showing symptoms

If you’ve noticed a few or many of the above symptoms in your child, it may be time to seek out a professional for further help. A professional can help your family identify what you’re dealing with, then assess the best course of action–whether that’s individual therapy, an ADHD & ODD treatment center, or some other type of treatment. You’re not alone during this time and your family has options.

Our wilderness therapy ADHD & ODD treatment center can help

blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy depression, anxiety, ADHD, and ODD treatment center for adolescents, ages 11 to 17. We offer therapy for depression, bullying, anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for the whole family, but we’re here to guide you through this rough time. At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed.
For more information about our ODD treatment center at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.

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